Pathways to university from care: Findings report one.





Pathways to University from Care - Findings Report One' invited care experienced students to share their journeys through care and their transitions to university life. The report focuses particularly on the issues affecting care-experienced students in their journey to and through university. The recommendations at the end of the report highlight the steps that universities can take in order to support their students through this transition and improve outcomes for their care experienced students:

Define who is considered a ‘care leaver’
Offer contextual admissions where appropriate
Have a designated named contact
Be clear about the nature of ‘support’ on offer
Offer a care leaver bursary
Offer training to Local Authorities, Personal Advisers, Schools and Colleges
Run pre-entry summer schools and homework clubs
Offer support on arrival day
Provide welcome packs for students in their accommodation
Introduce early registration for care experienced students
Introduce alcohol-free accommodation options
Offer affordable 365-day accommodation
Train all student-facing staff to recognise the additional needs of care experienced students
Fast track mental health support
Boost support for final year students


Reference:  Ellis, K., Johnston, C. (2019). Pathways to university from care: Findings report one. Sheffield: University of Sheffield. DOI: 10.15131/




See also: Pathways to University - The Journey Through Care: Findings Report Two

The researchers from the University of Sheffield conducted research with 234 care experienced university students in England and Wales to explore the factors that promoted access to higher education. We found that embedded support significantly aided positive transitions to university life.

This report addresses shortfalls in support and highlights examples of best practice identified by care experienced students.

The report concludes with recommendations for universities, made jointly with Care Leaver Covenant (CLC).


See related academic publications on Google Scholar



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Download this file (Pathways to University from Care - Findings Report One.pdf)Pathways to University from Care - Findings Report One.pdf[Ellis, K., Johnston, C. (2019). Pathways to university from care: Findings report one. Sheffield: University of Sheffield]11368 kB

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